Haslams admit they didn’t know what they were doing when they bought the Browns

2016 Cleveland Browns Training Camp
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Before Jimmy and Dee Haslam bought the Browns, they were minority owners of the Steelers. At the time, that was sold as a positive: Their previous involvement with a winning franchise should give them a good idea of how to rebuild the Browns. But it hasn’t worked out that way.

Now the Haslams are admitting that their experience with the Steelers didn’t teach them much of anything, and that they didn’t know what they were doing when they bought the Browns a decade ago.

“No, no. You don’t know anything,” Dee Haslam said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.

Jimmy Haslam offered a similar acknowledgement.

“We did a lousy job at first,” Jimmy Haslam said. “I mean, let’s just face it. It’s probably fair to say we didn’t know what we were doing. In some ways, I go, ’10 years, we haven’t won very many games.’ So I look at it that way.”

In Deshaun Watson, the Browns now have by far their best quarterback since the Haslams bought the team. But the off-field allegations that Watson sexually abused female massage therapists cast a pall over the Browns’ decision to trade for him, and has led to more questions about whether they really understand what it takes to earn the trust of Browns fans.

Even after a decade, the Haslams still have work to do to prove they know what they’re doing.

54 responses to “Haslams admit they didn’t know what they were doing when they bought the Browns

  1. Apparently they still don’t know anything. Givin away all that draft capital for a 4-12 quarterback.

  2. I would think that’s a pretty common thing amongst new NFL owners. The difference being the good ones realize it, hire good people and let them do their jobs. Dan Snyder still hasn’t figured this out.

  3. Judging by wins and losses AND having a high turnover rate with Head coaches I’d say they’re still clueless in operating a successful NFL team. Just my view

  4. 2017 draft , the Browns had two picks in the top 12. They took Myles Garrett. The could have selected BOTH Patrick Mahommes AND Deshaun Watson. So yes, the Haslams don’t know what they’re doing.

  5. Desperation move……sadly it will likely work out in the end. Winning and/or playing well cures most things no matter how wrong the initial move was. Kareem Hunt still roams the backfield without any transgressions and no one seems to care any longer.

    Time shall tell

  6. Well at least they’re being honest and still dont know what theyre doing

  7. Any NFL owner that says otherwise in hindsight is either lying or dumb. Just in the AFCN, Biscotti has been a successful owner, but he also spent four years with Modell as essentially owner-in-training, unable to make his own mistakes. And the year after he eventually took control commenced the Kyle Boller saga, lol. Props to the Haslems for being self-aware and candid about it.

    I also find it funny how quickly everyone forgets how tightly contested – among a HANDFUL of teams – the sweepstakes for Watson were. Absolutely no one cared about his civil cases, so why the Browns are catching flack from this angle, as if it’s a sign of their ineptitude, is bizarre, and missing the point.

  8. Granted. They’re rich and entitled and generally awful in ethics and business However !! They’ve put money where mouth is. Better than the ……guardians. Imagine if guardians management ran the browns in a salary cap era. Multi Super Bowls.

  9. Judging from their decisions in numerous areas of football operations- $230 million guaranteed!?- is indicative that they might be slow learners.

  10. Haslam admits he doesnt know anything, perhaps he should go to counseling with watson. Haslam says he wont blame “andrew” if the $230M deal tanks, unlike the 4 GMs he fired previously.

  11. Being a good owner is all about hiring and empowering the right people. Look at the Pegulas in Buffalo, who are newer owners than the Haslams. Terry and Kim get accolades for the job they’ve done with the Bills while their ownership of the Sabres has produced abysmal results. The difference? The found and hired Beane to construct the Bills and let him run it. They made an incredible hire for their NFL team but haven’t found that same equivalent for their NHL team. That’s the difference…

  12. They shouldn’t feel too awfully bad, I mean Tepper has no idea what he is doing when it comes to the Panthers.

  13. They still have no clue. They have the architect of their 0-16 season back running the show, a failed baseball bean counter that knows nothing about football, who requires the HC to run the plays he dreams up on his computer screen. They finally landed a franchise QB under Dorsey, only to alienate him off the team as they traded a decade of football away and $239 million dollars on a complete downgrade at the QB position. I don’t think there is a more clueless owner in the NFL then Jimmy Haslam.

  14. outlawdanman says:
    April 3, 2022 at 7:29 am
    Apparently they still don’t know anything. Givin away all that draft capital for a 4-12 quarterback.
    Yes, the 4–12 QB that threw for the most yards in the NFL that season. The QB that had a higher completion percentage then Brady that season. You remember. That was the season Brady took the Bucs to the SB and was MVP. Watson also did it with his number one receiver being traded away before the season started. The 4-12 QB that was selected to the Pro Bowl that season. How horrible. Perhaps you should look at the 4-12 Texans which had one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Is Joe Burrow barely above average? You know, 10-7 regular season. Justin Herbert must be about mediocre, since he was 9-8. Right? Amari Cooper had to have been one of the best WRs in the NFL since Dallas had the top passing offense. Right? Barry Sanders must’ve been a horrible player as well if you just want to look at the team and not the individual. Just using your thought process there.

  15. It’s safe to say anyone breathing knew the Haslams didn’t know what they were doing. Do they, now? Eh. You learn by doing, so Browns fans are hoping they’ve learned enough after all this time. DW is the best QB they’ve had since Bernie Kosar. That being said, given his off-field issues he could be a giant bust. The only guarantee is the check the Haslams wrote to get him.

  16. They are kinda like the Lions, Jaguars, Charlotte, Chicago, Cardinals. Falcons, Texans, Giants, Jets and Commanders…

  17. Jimmy & Dee should take a lesson from Andrew Carnegie:

    Carnegie once said, “Any time a meet a person smarter than me, I hire them.”

  18. Haslam is very much aware that with all the media coverage ( more than Cowboys) and being such a hot topic of conversation for the past couple of years is steadily increasing the value of the Browns. His team is probably worth upwards of 10 billion now. They are must see tv this upcoming season..

  19. The owner doesn’t really have to know what he’s doing. As long as they are capable of hiring good football people that do know what they are doing. I’m not sure they got that right either.

  20. Owners don’t have to know football…they need to know how to hire people that do.

  21. I give the Haslam’s a lot of credit. Most owner’s don’t have a clue about football. They made their money in a different business, or they inherited the team. Bill Belichick probably doesn’t know enough about Microsoft, so it might take him awhile to catch on, if he suddenly owned that company. At least the Haslam’s are passionate about winning. If they feel they hired the wrong guy, they quickly move in a different direction. I’m not saying they’re always right, most owners aren’t. But at least they keep trying. That’s all the fans can hope for. I think the Haslam’s are among the best owners in pro sports. Their day will come.

  22. smarterthanmost says:
    April 3, 2022 at 7:55 am

    2017 draft , the Browns had two picks in the top 12. They took Myles Garrett.


    Of all the things the Browns have done wrong, picking Garrett is not a good example.

  23. I’m wondering why the Haslam’s feel it necessary to come out and inform us all,… what we’ve all known for several years. Do they think we’re ignorant of the front office mess in Cleveland ?

  24. Pretty sure there’s no “Running a NFL Franchise 101” class out there. This isn’t shocking. It’s actually good to hear owners admitting that instead of claiming they’re super geniuses.

  25. Browns also drafted Johnny Manziel. So, really, nothing’s changed. Acting on impulse is not the way to go here.

  26. Don’t worry, the Wilfs still don’t know what they’re doing and they’ve had well over a decade to figure it out.

  27. The problem is they don’t seem to think they STILL don’t know anything about owning an NFL team.

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